Donovan Mitchell Sounds Off on Sixers ‘Highly Disrespected’ MVP Candidate

Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers

Getty Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers

Joel Embiid has been having a phenomenal season for the Philadelphia 76ers, yet his name has rarely been mentioned during MVP discussions.

According to Cleveland Cavaliers star Donovan Mitchell, Embiid is being ‘highly disrespected’ given his performances this year and the value he has to the Sixers franchise.

“I think Joel needs to be highly regarded as well. I think he gets highly disrespected. He’s a guy that consistently, every night, puts on for his group. And even in the past year with the whole Ben (Simmons) situation, not knowing who was going to be on the floor, and he continues to carry his team. I think he deserves a lot of respect in that race (the MVP race) as well,” Mitchell said during his NBA All-Star Media Day press conference.

Embiid has participated in 45 games for the Sixers this season, contributing 33.1 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game on 53.7% shooting from the field and 35.5% shooting from three-point range.

Joel Embiid Dealing With Foot Problems

According to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Embiid has been dealing with foot problems all season, which has directly cost him eight games already this season and could potentially cost him more as the Sixers navigate the final few months of the regular season.

“Embiid has been dealing with foot problems all season…His workouts in the offseason and during training camp were hampered by plantar fasciitis. That led to him being out of shape at the beginning of the season. Then Embiid missed a combined eight games because of his left foot being sprained and general soreness unrelated to the plantar fasciitis. He’s also missed several other games with the flu, left knee effusion, and right knee injury recovery,” Pompey wrote.

The Sixers currently find themselves third in the Eastern Conference but may have to make a decision on attempting to chase down the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics or keeping Embiid fresh for what the team hopes will be a significantly deep playoff run.

Sixers Miss Out on Kevin Love

On February 18, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Kevin Love would be meeting with the Sixers following his buyout from the Cavaliers; however, Philadelphia’s chances of landing the five-time All-Star are now dead in the water, as the veteran forward has agreed terms on a deal with the Miami Heat.

“Love’s expectation is that he can play a sizable role in the Heat’s frontcourt rotation as they push into the Eastern Conference playoffs. Love also talked with the Philadelphia 76ers…Love requested a buyout earlier in the week after falling out of the Cavaliers’ rotation, sitting out their final 12 games before the All-Star break,” Wojnarowski wrote. 

The Sixers will now have to look elsewhere if they’re aiming to improve the depth of their roster. However, given the Sixers’ strong season thus far, their front office may feel like they have enough strength in depth to avoid chasing a new addition unless someone becomes available on the buyout market who would significantly improve what they already have, but at this point, that appears to be unlikely.